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2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
When 1-year-old Connor arrived at the
Teller County Regional Animal Shelter in Colorado, the staff noticed he was having a tough time adjusting. He didn’t seem to be listening to commands or responding to anyone. A staff member named Tori was the one to realize that Connor was deaf — and she decided to help him by teaching him American Sign Language. "The difference is nothing but miraculous," said Nancy Adams, who also works at the shelter. Connor also has a condition called Cerebellar hypoplasia, which means part of his brain never fully developed, and he’ll always act like a “perpetual puppy.” The shelter is trying to find a special home for this special
dog. — Watch it at Colorado’s
New research suggests elephants can sense a rain storm that’s up to 150 miles away, and move toward it. The researchers analyzed the movements of 14 elephants in Africa's Namibia region over the course of 7 years, matching weather data with GPS data that showed herd movements. They found elephants seemed to be able to sense where a storm was happening. Namibia is dry most of the year and the scientists say that’s why the animals have learned to take advantage of the rainy season from January to March. "We don’t know if they can actually hear the thunder or if they are detecting other low-frequency sounds generated by the storms that humans can’t hear. But there is no doubt they know what direction the rain is," said Oliver Frauenfeld, assistant professor in the geography department at
Texas A&M University. The study was published in the journal
PLOS ONE. — Read it at
Scientists in the U.K. fitted a captive Eurasian steppe eagle with a lightweight data recorder to determine how its behavior of briefly folding its wings while soaring influenced its aerodynamics. During 45 flights in southern Wales, the
bird tucked its wings 2,594 times. The data from the recorder showed the bird did the wing tucks in response to atmospheric turbulence, keeping it from crashing when it hit pockets of bumpy air. “A
bird just tucks its wings and keeps a pretty smooth flight,” said study senior author Graham Taylor, a biologist at
Oxford University. The findings were published in the
Journal of the Royal Society Interface. — Read it at
A young New Zealand fur seal is making
quite a splash in Sydney, Australia. He and two other seals have been swimming
around Sydney Harbour for the last two weeks. But it’s this guy’s favorite
pastime that’s made him a city celebrity: hanging out on the steps of the iconic
Sydney Opera House.
“We know he spends the night hunting
for food and he emerges at the steps at about 3 a.m. to sleep and rest,” said a
spokeswoman for the NSW National
Parks and Wildlife Service. “He returns to those steps because it’s routine
now… and we don’t know when he’ll move on. But when the water starts heating
up, he and the other seals will leave the Harbour.” For now, though, the seal is
attracting the attention of everyone from lawmakers to radio hosts and tourists
who like to snap selfies with the seal in the background. — Read it at Buzzfeed
An 81-year-old woman was in her Kaktovik, Alaska, home when a polar bear decided to join her. Betty
Brower crawled to a radio and quietly called the local bear patrol for the
village of 300 people. The bear was in her home’s arctic entryway, which is a
narrow covered porch that serves as a barrier to the cold. Bear patrol member
Ruby Kaleak arrived on the scene and said she saw one of the biggest polar
bears she’s ever seen inside a doorway and feasting on a drum of seal oil.
"I was shocked. It was humongous," Kaleak said. The bear fled after
Kaleak arrived, and no one was injured. — Read it from
via People Pets
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